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Casquip Starch Ltd, Swaziland

Norfund and IDC from South Africa invested in Casquip Starch in 2008. At a later stage also Standard Bank approved a senior loan to the company. Norfund has disbursed in total ca NOK 42 mill. The plan was to grow cassava to be used for cassava starch production and sale to the South African market. The company has not been developing as expected, primarily due to major cooperation challenges with the main shareholder and CEO. The main shareholder has used Casquip Starch (investee company for Norfund), as security for other loans, without any knowledge or approval from Norfund or the other funding partners, Standard Bank and IDC. This situation, in addition to management- and operational challenges, has caused us, in agreement with our funding partners, to petition the company for liquidation. This was done end May and Norfund is now monitoring the further process through close contact with the liquidator of the company. The company is therefore no longer an active investment in Norfunds portfolio.